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How Does Annulment Work in Texas?

While divorce is the most common way of ending a marriage, annulment may be another option.

Courts grant annulments under the following conditions:

  • Underage. A party is between the ages of 16 and 18 and married without parental or guardian consent. Parents, managing conservators or guardians can request an annulment.
  • Discretionary annulment for underage person. Courts may grant annulments for underage persons.
  • Alcohol or drugs. Persons who marry while under the influence of alcohol or drugs may lack the mental capacity to consent to the marriage.
  • Impotency. One spouse discovered that the other spouse was permanently impotent only after marrying.
  • Fraud, duress, or force. A spouse married under conditions of fraud or was involuntarily forced to marry.
  • Mental illness. After marrying one party discovered that the other party was mentally ill and lacked the mental capacity to marry, or the party marrying was mentally ill and lacked the capacity to realize marriage occurred.
  • Concealed divorce. One party discovered that the other party had just divorced someone else within a 30-day period prior to the current marriage.
  • Marriage less than 72 hours after issuance of license. Couples must wait 72 hours to marry after issuance of a marriage license unless one of them is a member of the armed services on active duty, performs work for the U.S. Department of Defense or obtains a court waiver.
  • Death. After either party to the marriage dies, a marriage subject to annulment cannot be challenged.

The Texas Family Code contains these conditions for annulment. It also specifies that a spouse cannot voluntarily co-habit with the other spouse after the ground became evident. For example, after realizing the other party was impotent or mentally ill, the person seeking annulment must immediately end cohabitation to be eligible for annulment. Or, after the effects of drugs or alcohol wore off and the person realized he or she was married, voluntary co-habitation must end or the court cannot grant an annulment.

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Robert Reid McInvale
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Robert Reid McInvale is an experienced family law attorney with a comprehensive practice in Houston. He provides dedicated and strong advocacy for his clients, helping them with all the issues surrounding their divorce, separation, child custody, and other marriage and family matters. Attorney McInvale—Reid to clients and friends—seemed destined for a law career. Born while his father was attending Emory University Law School, Reid grew up in Manchester, GA. His father was the city attorney for many years, as well as head of the Manchester Chamber of Commerce. It is in the family blood to become lawyers and help people get justice. U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Marshall is part of the McInvale family tree.

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